If you’re a medical assessor appointed by SIRA under the Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999, and are assessing a claim as a result of an accident prior to 1 December 2017, use these guidelines and other documents to ensure you provide accurate and consistent medical assessments.
Medical assessors must be appointed by Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) and listed on our website.
Medical assessors must follow the:
- medical assessment guidelines
- permanent impairment guidelines
- code of conduct
- terms of appointment
- fee schedule
In addition medical assessor review panels must also follow the:
- terms of appointment
- and the practice notes which consists of:
We also issue guidance notes for medical assessors to use when assessing permanent impairment. They are not legally binding but outline the recommended approach for assessing different injuries. They are:
- guidance note 1 - assessment of mild collateral and mild cruciate ligament laxity
- guidance note 2 - assessment of femoral shaft fracture, rotational deformity
- guidance note 3 - assessment of tibial shaft fracture, rotational deformity
- guidance note 4 - assessment of pelvic fractures
- guidance note 5 - assessment of postconcussional syndrome/postconcussional disorder
- guidance note 6 - assessment of dysmetria
- guidance note 7 - assessment of the area of function 'Adaptation'
- guidance note 8 - assessment of muscle atrophy
- guidance note 9 - assessment of resection arthoplasty has been removed. We have some more information if you need.
- guidance note 10 - assessment of oesophagus, stomach and duodenum
- guidance note 11 - assessment of compression fracture(s)
- guidance note 12 - assessment of radial deviation and ulnar deviation
- guidance note 13 - assessment of multiple scarring
- guidance note 14 - assessment of injury to breast/s resulting from damage to breast implant/s
- guidance note 15 - assessment of dental injuries
- guidance note 16 - assessment of pulmonary function
- guidance note 17 - assessment of pre-existing spinal conditions and surgery
- guidance note 18 - assessment of radiculopathy following trauma to upper cervical vertebrae
- guidance note 19 - determination of a recognised psychiatric diagnosis
- guidance note 20 - conversion of upper extremity impairment to whole person impairment
- guidance note 21 - digestive system: use of medications and the upper gastrointestinal tract
- guidance note 22 - digestive system: use of medications and assessment of the colon, rectum and anus
- guidance note 23 - nervous system: assessment of disturbances of mental status and integrative functioning using the clinical dementia rating scale
- guidance note 24 - the urinary and reproductive system: assessment of incontinence
- guidance note 25 - musculoskeletal system: lower extremity impairment
Specific injuries information
We also issue guidance material for medical assessors to use in assessing specific injuries:
- Brain injury assessment fact sheet
- information for the injured person on neuropsychological assessments
Minor skin injuries
Minor dental injuries
Periorbital injury involving minor scarring or disfigurement
Spine and consequential injuries
Judgment of the Supreme Court Nguyen v the Motor Accident Authority of NSW & Zurich Australian Insurance Ltd  NSWSC 351.
This judgement was handed down by the Supreme Court of NSW and amended the longstanding approach taken in medical assessments in relation to permanent impairment of the shoulders arising from an injury to the neck caused by a motor crash. The Court has interpreted how the Act and permanent impairment guidelines should be applied and all Medical Assessors must adopt that interpretation when conducting assessments.
Medical assessors should use the medical examination assessment examination checklist in documenting all the clinical findings specific to assessing permanent impairment of spine, upper and lower extremity, and nervous system.
Assessment of resection arthroplasty
Issued on May 2015, Guidance Note 9 was removed because The AMA 4 Guides Table 27 (page 61) indicates that some resection arthroplasties are designated ‘isolated’. There is no definition of the meaning of 'isolated' in the context of Table 27 but the implication appears to be that the impairment rating for a resection arthroplasty is not applicable if the resection arthroplasty is part of a more complex procedure.
Guidance notes are issued primarily to provide guidance as to the clinically recommended interpretation in an area where more than one interpretation of existing provisions in SIRA may be possible.
Since publication it has become apparent that more than one clinically recommended interpretation is available and currently in use in similar jurisdictions. Accordingly SIRA is not in a position to recommend a particular interpretation as to the issue outlined in Guidance Note 9.